Tuesday, November 18, 2008

If the Shoe Doesn't Fit...

Since tomorrow is my last day at work, my team went out for lunch to celebrate getting rid of me (har har). The boss told us about a Halloween costume party he went to, and he told us about some of the costumes he saw.

One of them was a man dressed up as a woman. In fact, my boss had initially thought that the man was, in fact, a girl (not a woman, a girl).

At that, one of my co-workers muttered that it was probably the man's profession. Hopefully you can see what's wrong with this assumption, so I'll leave it alone.

Another co-worker told his own story about meeting a woman at some function, and, trying to start up polite conversation, asked her what her profession was. She responded with some embarrassment that she made women's clothes for men. "Excuse me?" he said his response was. "Like what?" Like dresses, braziers, et cetera. The same co-worker that muttered about the professional cross-dressing costumer muttered something else. The one telling the story tacked on, "Well, if it doesn't fit, you should take the hint!"

Now, I used to apply the same logic to things like this (although I've never believed that cross-dressers are inherantly bad or confused).

But, given the "hint," I arrive at a very different conclusion than my co-workers obviously did. They of course, believe that if the shoe doesn't fit, you shouldn't wear it.

Knowing that clothing is a man-made (woman-made is perhaps more accurate) strategy to keep us warm, I believe that if the shoe doesn't fit, then you should ask for a pair in your size. I know that, at one time in our history, it was unacceptable for women to wear men's clothes. When you remember that, it should beg the question, "How do you know the difference between men's and women's clothing?" My answer is that there should be no such thing as gendered clothing. Clothing, whether from the practical or the fashionable standpoint, is not inherantly gendered. A shirt is a shirt. In Utopia, men can wear pants and t-shirts, or skirts and high-heeled shoez (or all four at the same time!) and women can just as easily wear the same thing.

Currently, women can wear some men's clothing, but men most definitely cannot wear women's clothing. A man wearing women's clothing is automatically demonized, as anything woman-like is bad, particularly when a man is subscribing to it. A man wearing women's clothing is a pussy; he isn't a real man; his masculinity should be questioned; he's gay. This is a good example of why misogyny hurts everyone, not just women.

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